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Shropshire nurse to volunteer on Africa hospital ship

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An orthopaedics nurse from Shropshire is to work as a volunteer on a hospital ship off the coast of Africa.

Sister Linda Butler, recovery manager at the Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic and District Hospital NHS Trust, is heading off to work for eight weeks as a volunteer recovery nurse on a hospital ship called the Africa Mercy.

It is the world’s largest non–government hospital ship and it will be anchored in the harbour of Benin in West Africa until the end of 2009, allowing some of the poorest people in the world to access up-to-date surgery from qualified international volunteers.

There are six state of the art operating theatres, a recovery room and a 78-bed ward providing the latest surgery and treatment for a variety of conditions including the removal of soft tissue lesions, club foot, cataracts and childbirth injuries.

Ms Butler said: ‘All the conditions that the patients have are readily treatable, so I am looking forward to working in a team, using my skills to help improve the lives of many African people. I had always wanted to work in Africa since being a student but then life sort of overtook me.’

She will join the Africa Mercy from mid February to 10 April.

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